We can no longer rely on the old economic model


Chairman Ranil Wickremesinghe said there can be no more trust in old business models and there should be innovative thinking while paying prompt attention to global changes.

The President made the remarks during his keynote address at the launch of Sri Lanka’s Economic Reform Research Reports and Roundtable held at the Bandaranaike International Conference Hall in Colombo today (Aug 05).

The Advocata Institute organized this two-day economic forum on the theme “LET’S RESET SRI LANKA”.

President Wickremesinghe stressed that whether the International Monetary Fund (IMF) proposal was good or bad, whether anyone liked it or not, it should be implemented in order to recover from the current economic crisis to which the country is facing. He also said the government had the right to question their proposals if any of them were cause for concern.

The President explained that Sri Lanka must first enter into an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. Second, the most important thing is to get a sustainable loan, any suggestion on getting the loan could be shared. The President further explained that these proposals could be presented to Parliament for decision.

President Wickremesinghe considered that changes in governments and state policies are fundamental issues that impinge on negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. While warning that many difficulties will have to be faced in the next 6 months, he informed that the International Monetary Fund also recognizes that attention must be paid to those affected by the economic crisis.

The President enumerated that the country should focus on the vast external debt problem and get through it without getting caught up in the geopolitics of the Asian region.

He prescribed that the export-oriented economy, the renewable energy sector and the use of nuclear energy be thought out of the traditional framework. The future of the country cannot be reorganized without developing its economy, and therefore as a first step Sri Lanka should stabilize its economy.

During the 1997 Asian financial crisis that led to the downturn of Thailand’s economy at that time, it was the International Monetary Fund that guided the recovery, he said.
When the President recently visited Mahanayake Theros, the Nayake Theros also agreed to help people through the temples.

Observing that the underprivileged segment has increased in recent times, he regretted that school education has been disrupted due to the Covid and the fuel crisis, and is expected to be restored soon, through which economic and social stability can be established. .

The President pointed out that the modernization of the agriculture and fisheries sectors, the use of new technologies in production, the mitigation of climate change, the problems faced by women, the housing needs of the population and poverty in rural areas should receive greater attention.

He further stated that we need to create a competitive economy with high wages and production capacity and the need to establish trade relations with Asian countries which have large growing markets. He referred to the current global economic situation as not favorable to any country.

Dr. Veerathai Santiprubhop, the former governor of the Bank of Thailand, said there was no colossal financial crisis in Sri Lanka as depicted in international media.

He added that to recover from the Thai economic crisis, measures such as the privatization of public institutions, the protection of the most vulnerable people, institutional reforms, strengthening the credibility of the banking sector, the appointment of economic authorities in the cabinet, relations with the International Monetary Fund, the modification of the necessary laws and the search for the assistance of foreign experts were taken.

United National Party Chairperson MP Vajira Abeywardena, Samagi MPs Jana Balawega, Dr Harsha de Silva, Kabir Hashim, Mayantha Dissanayake and Advocata Institute President Murtaza Jafferjee were also present.



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